In this episode of Capital for Good, we speak with Governor Deval Patrick, one of the country’s most talented and inspiring leaders, who has blazed many trails across and between the public, nonprofit and private sectors.
In this conversation, we explore some of the through lines in a career that has included successful chapters in civil rights law and activism, policy and politics, and entrepreneurship and investing. We discuss Governor Patrick’s decision, after two terms as Governor of Massachusetts, to turn his “social impact” lens to the private sector by launching the first impact investing fund — Bain Capital Double Impact — of a global alternative investment firm. Governor Patrick walks us through BCDI’s investment thesis and approach, which is focused on health and wellness, sustainability and education, and workforce development. Early investments included Penn Foster, an affordable education, workforce preparation, and skills development company that achieved strong financial and impact returns through an active partnership with BCDI. “If you can demonstrate that you don’t have to trade return for impact, it’s a whole new game,” Governor Patrick says.
We also discuss the growth of the impact investing field, and more broadly increased corporate engagement on issues of equity, justice, and democracy — efforts that Governor Patrick believes mirror the groundswell in community building efforts that he is involved in at the grassroots level. “I see these two as linked,” he says. “This is about everyone taking responsibility for their own civic and political community.” We talk about our shared fortunes coming out of the pandemic, and whether our increased attention to issues of inequity, racial injustice, income, and wealth inequality can put us on a better path forward. “I think there is every opportunity to emerge better,” he says.
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